Ken Thompson, Ph.D.

Kenneth Thompson 

With a B.S. in Mathematics, Dr. Kenneth Thompson earned a Ph.D. in Education with emphasis in Research, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment (RESA). He is currently the Director of Institutional Research at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. Dr. Thompson is responsible for the Office of Institutional Research and also teaches. His job in IR involves “providing timely, accurate, and relevant information to support administrative decision-making, responding to internal and external requests for information and analyses, completing and submitting federally required survey materials, and improving the use of information to drive campus decision-making.”

Dr. Thompson started the RESA program with a goal of career advancement. Asked if his goals changed while a student in the program, he responded that, “Soon after beginning the program, I realized that the available opportunities far exceeded my expectations.  I considered myself a career state government employee, but as I progressed through the program, I realized that my future had to include academia in some way and had to include a combination of measurement and statistics.” Dr. Thompson adds that, “My degree allowed me to build upon prior experiences leading to more career opportunities.  Currently, I’m working at a small liberal arts college where I can apply my statistical expertise, I can teach statistics courses, and I can conduct research related to measurement practices.”

When reflecting on his time in the program, he observed, "Although it seems like completion is so far down the road that you’ll never get there, finishing your dissertation has a way of creeping up on you before you realize it.  It seems as though I was starting one semester and graduating the next.  With the benefit of hindsight, I would be more involved in research.  I would appreciate the moment more.  As a student, I had the opportunity to work with world-class professionals and participate in research.   Take the time to enjoy the process and savor the moment.  With perseverance and dedication you will finish, so don’t be afraid to enjoy the experience."